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Saving our Salmon

Last week the Irish Examiner published an article about the reopening of a wild salmon fishery in Castlemaine Harbour in North Kerry.

The next day the same paper had a furious editorial condemning the decision.

In Saturday’s edition, there were two letters published, one from Aidan Barry, CEO of the SWRFB and the other from John O’Donoghue T.D.

The news about the fishery reopening really is good and does truly reflect the benefits of the drift net ban in 2007.

What the writer of the editorial in the Examiner completely misses is the ability that the Fisheries Boards now have to manage stocks effectively. The indiscriminate nature of the drift net fishery has gone, and sound management of individual river systems is now being implemented.

The simple fact is that each river has the capacity to handle a certain amount of spawning salmon.  When that number of salmon has entered the system, then anything over that number is surplus and can be harvested. The Fisheries Boards have the knowledge, information and ability to ensure that only the surplus is harvested. The division of the surplus between anglers and nets-men will probably always be contentious but …..!

Over the last 30 years, the record of the Irish Government in looking after the wild salmon stocks was abysmal; however, since the scales were lifted from their eyes in 2007, they have listened and have acted upon the advice  from the scientific “body”  which government had been ignoring up to then.

We hope that you read the article, editorial and letters in the links above, and that you will be optimistic that Ireland is now doing its best to repair the damage of the last thirty years.

Perhaps one day, the Irish Smoked Wild Atlantic Salmon Presidium may once again take part in Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre.